After such a long spell being locked down in our homes it was wonderful to see our CREWY team (Creating Real Experiences With Youth) back in action with plans for trips to local zoos. It’s been so tough on young people in our Inside Out homes this past year, so heading to Werribee Open Range Zoo and Collingwood Children’s Farm was a real treat for a few of our young people who had never had the chance to visit these places before.

This week our CREWY team took Tim* and Ella* to Werribee Zoo for a  deluxe safari  which gave them a chance to get close up and personal with rhinos, giraffes and zebras. They had a brilliant time.

CREWY was established before the pandemic and emerged as a cool initiative created by our youth workers to provide fun excursions and activities for young people that they would otherwise be unable to access.

CREWY youth worker Rebecca Radojcic shared

“ What we realised was that young people in our Inside Out homes hadn’t been given the chance to experience family-like adventures like camping, trips to the zoo and other experiences that we all take for granted when we were young and growing up in our families. CREWY was a real call to action, and we are so grateful for the City of Greater Dandenong’s support that provides the funding so we may organise fun and unique excursions and activities for our young people who have come to us with complex backgrounds, and who have never had the chance to enjoy sharing experiences like the zoo with others.”

Without going into detail, CREWY seems to build confidence – it allows young people the opportunity and space to build their confidence, bond over fun experiences together and create positive shared memories.”

The trip to Werribee Zoo was a first for Tim* and his first CREWY outing. His feedback and experience is the reason we run CREWY –

“I can’t believe I get to do all these things I missed out on, I feel so lucky to have been able to visit the zoo today, it’s been so much fun.”

Ella* loved the zoo too! She’s been actively participating in CREWY adventures since they began in 2020. We have been so happy to receive her feedback which sums up what CREWY is about. Sharing moments of joy is often something our young people haven’t experienced. Providing them with excursions and activities like trips to the Zoo and the snow are powerful and touching experiences that are so much better shared.

“It’s just great being able to say I’ve been to the Zoo, and how much fun it was, just like friends who speak about it at school.”

CREWY also went to the Children’s Collingwood Farm, where Josie* spent an fabulous day meeting some baby goats, cows, horses and even a peacock. Josie* had been having a rough week, so it was great to share this with her, and also chat about the experience over lunch.

Youth Worker Rebecca shared that Josie* had been “having a bit of a tough week, but she seemed to really bounce back and really responded to a bit of time in nature with animals. The therapeutic power of animals never ceases to amaze us.

We hope you’re as inspired as we are by the enthusiasm of  the young people who participate in CREWY. They are so grateful and embrace whatever it is we plan for them. It really builds their confidence and outlook on life. It makes us feel so proud of what we are trying to achieve with CREWY and we can’t wait to take them on their next outing.

Of course, this is also a BIG shout out to the CREWY team for creating these engaging and shared activities for young people who we serve. We know it’s not an easy job to build their confidence and keep their spirits up. This year has been particularly hard as you can imagine.

Being there for a young person who feels they were not important, even insignificant, is what inspires us, and makes us want to create even better outings for the future. We want people like Tim*, Sophie* and Josie* to know that they are important, that they do matter and that we care that they get to experience joyful and often hilarious experiences no matter their postcode or background.

We are always thinking about new ideas and plans for outing and trips in the CREWY team. If you want to learn more and even consider supporting this initiative, you can email Rebecca at

We’ve recently launched our Christmas Appeal, a bit cheeky we know, but if you would consider donating this year we’d be ever so grateful – every $$ counts!


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